This is actually a serious question about why the MBTA elevators suck

Hopefully someone who knows more about elevators than I do can answer this. Why is it that the elevators in most every MBTA station, including the new ones, take about 10 seconds to slowly slide into place once they're almost to their destination? The elevators don't seem to do this in any other building, including buildings with old and downright scary elevators.


5 comments:

Suldog said...

I'm just guessing here, but perhaps it's because the elevators were intended solely for handicapped access and the gradual slowing/sliding is built in so as to not jar the occupants, since they may be less than able to maintain balance or whatever?

eeka said...

Hey Suldawwwg. It's a thought, but it still doesn't seem to make much sense. In my case, elevators don't create any balance issue, because they don't suddenly move from side to side and they usually have sturdy handrails. But I mostly have neurological balance issues -- I don't know if the gradual slowing thing is actually helpful to people who have pain issues or similar. Possibly.

It seems really weird that the MBTA would purposely set them up that way, because there's nothing in the ADA about elevators slowing gradually to a stop, and we all know the T can't follow most of the guidelines that ARE in the ADA. Still, could be it. I don't know about other people, but I'd prefer they get me there as fast as possible so I don't miss so many trains. I also wish they weren't randomly keyed off half the time and that attendants in all of the stations were allowed to leave their Charlie bubbles to fix it, rather than calling an inspector who's at a different stop at the time.

I still can't think of any remotely possible reason why there's a long delay before the doors open! Unless it's part of the MBTA's strive-to-annoy-eeka policy or something.

Anonymous said...

Its because most of them are hydraulic, which is the perfect type for what the MBTA was looking for: elevators that typically only have two floors to service that are close together.

Jay said...

I've seen other elevators like that - for instance, in the Eliot St. garage near Harvard Square. I assume it's something about the type of elevator, and not merely a "slow down to be gentle" setting.

eeka said...

Ah, thanks Jay and anonymous. I knew someone would know. The intarwebs never fails me!